US special envoy Stephen Bosworth is said to have accepted the offer, one of several recent overtures from Pyongyang.
If true, it could be another signal that North Korea may be softening its line after months of belligerent saber-rattling.
The reported invitation comes after Pyongyang was said to have proposed a summit with South Korea over the weekend, though Seoul denied the report. The US and South Korean governments reiterated their insistence Monday that the isolated North – often called the "hermit kingdom" – must give up nuclear weapons.
The JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, reported Tuesday that US special envoy to North Korea Stephen Bosworth had accepted the invitation from Pyongyang and would travel to North Korea next month for talks. The report cited a "senior diplomatic source in Washington."
The U.S. delegation will likely visit South Korea, China and Japan in early September and then head to the North, according to the source.
The trip was to be announced officially in early September, immediately before their departure to Pyongyang, the diplomat added....
According to the source, Washington has decided to send Bosworth to Pyongyang as key obstacles in U.S.-North relations have been removed. Two jailed American reporters were released earlier this month and former U.S. President Bill Clinton confirmed the stability of the Kim Jong-il regime, the source said.